1108 W. Church St.
Editor’s Note: One of the greatest attributes of Champaign-Urbana is all of its lovely green areas, and that’s why chambanamoms.com does occasional reviews of local parks.
PARK NAME: Davidson Park
AMENITIES: Playground for younger children with baby and child swings; picnic area
GOOD FOR: Children 5 and under (or so)
LAURA’S TAKE: For years I have been disappointed in the Champaign Park District’s playground offerings for little kids, i.e. the 5-and-under set. There is a very nice play structure at Hessel Park, but the problem there is that the little ones (at least my little ones) would much rather play on the large, vast, impressive equipment geared toward the big kids.
As it turns out, I just hadn’t looked hard enough.
I’ve driven past Davidson Park, located a few blocks west of Prospect Avenue on Church Street, probably about 85,467 times in the years I’ve lived in Champaign. But it wasn’t until a few weeks ago, when I was looking to kill some time with a few restless kids after a North Prospect shopping excursion, that I took the time to stop.
And was I glad I did. Davidson Park is a little island surrounded by older, stately, grand homes with front porches, the kind that make you think of the Fourth of July and apple pie.
It was getting closer to lunchtime, and the heat of the day. But the playground at Davidson Park (there’s not much else there) is partially shaded at that time; at least the bulk of the equipment was, while the swings (two baby, two regular) were in the sun. What is so great about Davidson Park is that it is devoted to small children. There’s no other play structure in the park; and it was easy enough that my 18-month old could navigate it without problem. Up the steps, down the slide, repeat. Up the steps, down the slide, repeat.
Meanwhile, my 4-year-old found activities that would challenge her but ones that she could succeed on; and ones that didn’t mean I had to hover every single second lest she fall and break a limb. The playground is set far away enough from Church Street that I wasn’t too concerned about them running around the vicinity.
If you have little ones and are looking for an appropriate place for them to play, put Davidson Park on your list. Of course, as we headed home from there I made the mistake of driving by Eisner Park (which is around the corner, more or less). At that point, my 4-year-old inquired: “Mommy, can we go to that park? That looks like it’s for big kids.”
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